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First Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Twospot, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    Happy New Year everyone! I am new to the forums. I want to start learning the bass guitar. I have begun the search for my new first bass. I don't like buying junk, even if I am a beginner at something. So I don't want a $150 Squier or Ibanez. I was at a local music store yesterday and I really like the fender Standard Jazz Bass MIM or the Blacktop Jazz bass. When I looked at the standard I really liked it. The guy at the music store suggested I try an Ibanez SR300 because the neck is much thinner so it would be easier to learn on. I tried it and I agree the neck is much thinner.

    My question is if better basses normally have a thicker neck (I dont know if that's a true statement) why learn on a thin neck? If that statement is not true then by desiring a thinner neck does that limit your bass choices in the future. The guy at the music store told me once you can play you can play any size neck.

    I guess my thinking is if most basses runn thicker then these Ibanez basses I would think I'd want to get comfortable on the thicker necks right off the get go. Also any decent beginner bass model suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!

  2. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    I applaud you on not wanting junk and I'd suggest you get more than those two basses in your hands.

    On the neck thing necks are like anything else there are lots of different kinds for lots of different people and I started myself on a Yamaha RBX170 which itself has a thin neck and have traded up from that thin neck to the thick neck of a Ibanez ATK305 and I myself have no problems when switching to a thin or thick neck. Neck profiles as their called only change my fretting hands thumb position but, my advice to you is too pick the neck that fits your hand the best.

    On beginner models I'd suggest anything that catches your eye.
  3. 64jazz


    Nov 29, 2011
    Louisville, KY USA
    This may get lots of disagreement from the collective, but you'll not go wrong with a MIM Fender, P or J either one. I started out on Precisions but the first time I picked up a Jazz, that was that. The Jazz neck is a bit narrower than the Precision, which a lot of players like. Try not to get caught up on the "thinner is better" argument, as some of the most iconic playing ever recorded was laid down on standard Fender necks! The Jazz is a beautiful instrument that can easily fit into a wide range of music, and it is sorta the gold standard. Well, at least I think so. :p

    Btw, "the guy at the music store" bears watching. Always does.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Jazz basses - thin neck, Geddy Lee and many other bass players play these professionally.

    Get the bass with the neck you like. For someone with smaller hands, younger and so on, an Ibanez is a good choice because it will be EASIER to play. If you feel you can play a larger profile neck, by all means, buy it! It's all about your comfort with playing. It's also about what you WANT to play.

    Do not rule out Squier basses - the Squier Classic vibe series basses are around $300-$350 and sound very good for the cost. I play Spector basses all the time (Euro 5 string models - $1900 each) and was very impressed with the feel and tone of those particular Squiers.

    After re-reading your post, sounds like you found two good ones already! What are you going to play the basses through for practicing?
  5. It might be that a thinner neck helps the first three months or so, but after that you might want a more beefy neck and body of a bass...
  6. First, if you're new and inexperienced, it would be good to avoid characterizing inexpensive basses as "junk". The current beginner's market is surprisingly different - and better - than it was even a few short years ago.

    Second, if you have a local music store, you actually have the answer to all your buying questions right at your fingertips...literally. It's already been pointed out, but the only one who can tell you what works best for you is you. Trying out instruments & amps at the local shop should be your ultimate way to make a decision, as what feels and sounds best to you is the only criteria you need to fill.

    You will eventually develop your preferences for neck shape, nut width, neck contours, fretboard material, etc., after you've been playing for a while.
  7. B0SSB3AT5


    Mar 25, 2010
    I bought a fairly inexpensive bass(Ibanez) and I loved it! The sound was interesting and it had character. I hate a bass with a tone that is dull and lifeless. Anyways I agree in that the entry level basses are good nowadays and also look at many different brands to see what they feel like.

    As far as the neck preference, I played cello before I picked up an electric bass so those necks are thicker than most "thick" necked basses. My very first bass I owned was a Cort. They have pretty thin necks but it all is personal preference.

    The last time I went into a Guitar Center, most basses were either MusicMan or Sterling or Ibanez and Fender. Ibanez will have the thinner necks and I found myself enjoying a six string Ibanez more than a five string Fender. Althought they did have an amazing sounding 50's era Pbass that I liked. Anyways enough of my blabbering

    My advice is try EVERYTHING. You will have to ultimately decide to pay your cash for the product so make sure you leave no stone unturned. If they are local, go to many stores and try out ESPs, Ibanez, Schecters, Squires, Sterling by MusicMan and other "entry level" branded basses. I would, however stay away from a First Act. Just my opinion.
  8. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    The thinner neck may make it easier to learn. I don't think significantly so unless you do have small hands. On the other hand I don't think a thin neck locks you into or out of anything later on either. I can pick up just about any four string and feel right at home, whether its neck is thinner or fatter than my MIM Jazz's. Ibanez makes some pretty nice expensive basses too so if you end up loving their necks there is plenty of room to upgrade when you want to. I am currently looking at five strings and while I like some and "hate" others the two I like the best, an Ibanez SR505 and a Squier Deluxe Active V, have dissimilar necks in both thickness and widths. I still haven't figured out what it is about the two that I do like although I am finding that the more fives I play in stores the less sensitive I am to their differences. Even the Squier VM Jazz V that initially just felt all wrong to me is starting to feel pretty natural now. And how odd is it that initially the best and worst five strings for me were both Squiers?

    Personally I find that just about any bass I pick up in stores these days with a price tag of $300 or more is pretty good. The high end Squiers are quite good in fact, I would not turn my nose up at one. If you are spending that much or more on a bass you will get a good one, so buy the one you like with confidence. I've played the three you mention and they are all good choices. I went with the MIM Deluxe Active Jazz because I wanted the active preamp, not because I found anything lacking in the MIM Standard Jazz. The Blacktops were almost but not quite available when I bought my Jazz.

  9. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    As others have said, try everything.

    My first bass was a Squier Affinity P which I chose after trying it and the J. I prefer the thicker neck and the P sound in general. Thin vs. thick necks is just preference. Try everything in the store and go with the one which sounds and feels the best to you in your price range.
  10. There are two factors to consider as far as the neck goes. One is the width at the nut and the other is the neck profile with governs the depth or thickness of the neck. While there isn't a great deal of difference between the width at the nut between some basses (about an 1/8th of an inch Fender Jazz vs Precision) the neck profile will tend to dictate what feels most comfortable to you and it's the combination of those two factors you want to go with.

    I began playing on a Jazz Bass because that felt most comfortable to me because of both the width of the neck and the neck profile. Today most of the Fender Basses whether they are MIA, MIM or Squiers have very similar neck dimensions and neck profiles.

    If the Jazz neck feels best to you that's what you should go with and as has been suggested you should take a look at the Squier CV series in addition to the MIM models you've tried. They are not cheaply made basses and are at least comparable to the MIM basses.

    No matter which direction you go you'll get a good instrument and a Jazz Bass gives you all kinds of tonal flexibilty and truly becomes one of the best basses any player could own. Good hunting and welcome to the low end.
  11. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    Thanks everyone for the response. I was just a GC and was checking out some basses. Now I was pretty close minded on brand. I was basically looking at Fender and Ibanez. I do play drums so I am not new to music and know all the brand names out there in guitars and drums. But for some reason It was just fender and Ibanez in my mind.

    Well I was sorely mistaken. I saw a Schecter on sale and figured, what the hell I'm here. I took it off the rack walked over to the stool, sat down and started messing around. Do you know what it was like??? It was like that moment for Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation where the Christmas lights wouldnt work and his wife realized there was a light switch in the garage that had to be on. She licks it just as he plugs them in and they all come on finally! That was the moment I had. It was like... THIS IS THE ONE.

    Now I don't know much about Schecter except the name. Its a Schecter Diamond P CST. Its white which I am not crazy about but man it could be polkadotted and I wouldnt care it felt so perfect! (OK maybe I'd care but you get the point). Does anyone know anything about this bass?

    Thanks again for all your replies!
  12. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
  13. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    Thats the one! That blue is awesome but the one I played was white. I want that exact white one only because it felt so perfect. I am afraid if I try a different one it wont feel the same LOL. They only had the one left. They also had one five string.
  14. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    I like the Ibanez SR300 better sound wise then some of the more expensive SR models. Ibanez SR basses and ESP Ltd B & F seires basses have just about the most comfortable very slim necks around. And are used by many pros. Including world touring pros. For their neck playability, sound etc.

    Theyve been my fave necks for the past 20 or so yrs to. Jackson and BC Rich basses have had little bit wider and chunkier necks for most of their history. But not so wide as old style fender P. Recently, BC Rich released a new line of paulo warlock basses with clear finish over mahogany and spalt maple bodies. These besides sporting mm size humbuckers also have a little bit diff neck profile then other warlocks & mockingbirds Ive owned. Those all had same neck size and profile btw, but a bit chunker and not as fast and easy playing as the new neck profile the paulo's have. So Like Ibanez, BC Rich is now starting to offer a couple neck profiles/sizes.

    So, when your trying basses, try various models along with the bolt on and thru neck versions. If they have both kinds. I noticed with Schecter yrs ago that the neck on the neck thru version of one bass was wider/chunkier then the bolt on version. And like bc rich warlocks, theres two diff neck profiles available depending on model.
  15. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    Wel I'm all about buying your bass from the local stores but, if you must. Here's a not so secret secret you can special order from GC the color you want of the Schecter at no additional cost and return it if it's not to your liking. I plan to do that since my local shop doesn't sell Schecters and FYI I plan on getting the white OR black one so I'll probaly see the black and instead want the white one so I might do the same thing.
  16. mogpipe


    Apr 22, 2011
    Ha! I was going to suggest you check out some Schecters! I kept reading down through the post, low and behold, you beat me to it!!! I started playing on an Ibanez GSR200. I had no prob's with it, enjoyed playing it, nice thin neck and such. But when it came time for me to upgrade from that, I did alot of research, and went with Schecter. For the money they are quite exceptional IMHO. Got myself a C-4 and never looked back! Use the Ibby as my back-up now.
  17. mogpipe


    Apr 22, 2011
    :)Yeah, when you get your Schecter, a picture of it will get ya in the Schecter Club here on TB.
  18. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    imho white is the pick of the litter for that bass. Looks boss!
  19. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    This is the last one at the GC by where I work. It's brand new, plastic still on the pick guard, all set up, its on Clearance for $419. My wife is buying it for me for my Bday which is the 15th. I work about an hour and 15 minutes from home and she works locally so I went and put the 25% down to hold it and we'll go next weeknd where she'll buy the rest. I'll get an amp or a headphone amp as well. Here is a pic of us:

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